Crosstown rivals Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools faced off Dec. 12 in a Kishwaukee River Conference game at WNHS. The Streaks, who came into the matchup 1-2 in conference play, came out on top 47-33. The Thunder were 1-1 coming into the game.
WNHS senior Sami Long sank two 3-pointers to help her team to an early 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Streaks answered in the second quarter, led by senior Autumn Overly, who made three field goals for six points. By the half, the teams were tied at 23-23.
In the second half, the Streaks scored 24 points to the Thunder’s 10, bringing home the win.
One highlight of the game for the Streaks wasn’t revealed until the day after the matchup. After reviewing the game film, it was confirmed that sophomore Emma Brand had broken the WHS record for the most rebounds in a single varsity girls game. Brand pulled in 21 rebounds, surpassing the existing record of 16 held by her coach.
“I was in game zone. I didn’t realize I was getting close,” said Brand, who has been playing basketball since she was in third grade.
She said each practice they do rebounding drills and are encouraged by their coach to go after the records.
“Amazing,” said Streaks head coach Jen Nichols-Hogle. “Every game we talk about records that can be broken. It’s a way to motivate the girls,” she said. “It’s exciting to see her break my record … I’m honored to be her coach.”
Nichols-Hogle said she and her assistant weren’t keeping track of the number of rebounds during the game, but at the end of the game they thought she might have made it.
“The entire team was super supportive,” said Brand.
Nichols-Hogle agreed. “It was a team effort to help Emma,” she said. “That’s the kind of kids I’m coaching.”
She praised the girls for the hard work they’ve put in during the season and said their record doesn’t truly reflect the season they’ve had.
“During the first week of the season, I realized that this is a great group of girls, and I want to help them work hard enough to realize their potential,” said Nichols-Hogue.
Thunder head coach Mike Lewis said, “I thought we played a good tough game. The entire team was outstanding. The girls worked really well together. We just came up a little short on the score board.”
As the season progresses, he’s seen his girls work hard for the goal he’s set for them of getting better every day.
The next game for the Thunder girls will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, when they host the Burlington Central Rockets. The Streaks will return after the holiday break to host South Beloit at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3.